A leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has sent the internet into a frenzy. And while some people are worried about the lack of trust within SCOTUS due to the draft, the real implications are yet to be felt by people across the country.
As Sistersong’s Executive Director Monica Simpson tweeted Monday evening, Roe is still law. It’s only a draft. Abortion remains legal.
But the leaked draft does provide a glimpse into the likely outcome of the Dobbs case. Now is not the time to panic or check out. Supporting the work of abortion funds and reproductive justice organizations is paramount. Several funds and reproductive justice organizations lead and make it happen without multimillion-dollar donations.
Organizations like Yellow Hammerfund, ARC Southeast, Afiya Center, Sister Song, Chicago Abortion Fund, Our Justice and Preterm continue to make a way and build a future that protects the right to bodily autonomy for all.
And if SCOTUS does move to not only uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban but undo the protections afforded by the landmark case Roe v. Wade, all eyes will be on Congress.
“If this report is true, this Republican attack on abortion access, birth control and women’s health care has dramatically escalated the stakes of the 2022 election,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Executive Director Christie Roberts said in a statement. “At this critical moment, we must protect and expand Democrats’ Senate majority with the power to confirm or reject Supreme Court justices.”
Expanding the Democratic control in the Senate only matters if the new senators are willing to commit to ending the filibuster to pass needed legislation like the Women’s Health Protection Act. The bill had previously passed the House of Representatives but died in the Senate due to the filibuster.
With a trifecta at the federal government, Democrats must act now and protect the rights, bodily autonomy and privacy of millions of people in this country.
“Communities of color have long been denied equal access to abortion care, despite the legal rights enshrined in Roe,” said Natasha Chabria, associate counsel with the Economic Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in a prior statement. “This is about ensuring everyone can exercise bodily autonomy and make decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities with dignity and respect. The Senate must take up this bill again and pass the WHPA this year.”
Beyond abortion access, Congress can take various steps to protect people’s right to choose whether to have a family or not. Choosing how and when to start a family is at the crux of reproductive justice.
But simply telling folks to vote Blue doesn’t work when Democrats are in control at the federal level. Expanding power in the Senate only matters if people are willing to be bold and end the filibuster. Congress should not delay taking action once the SCOTUS decision comes down.
Voting in upcoming elections is part of the equation. Providing direct support to Black-led reproductive justice organizations is critical. There are also lessons for the political battles to come during the midterm election cycles. Candidates and elected officials running for re-election cannot be afraid to be bold and go big.
You can’t straddle the fence and expect people to show up. It’s time to get it into gear.
Disclaimer courtesy of Renee Bracey Sherman: If you or anyone you know needs assistance self-managing a miscarriage or abortion, please call the Miscarriage + Abortion Hotline at (833) 246-2632 for confidential medical support or the Repro Legal Helpline at (844) 868-2812 for confidential legal information and advice.